We travelled on east, north, and west aspects between 3200' and 5100' in the alpental valley and snow lake vicinity. We found increasing snow depths above snow lake divide; approximately 12" above 4500'. Climbing up the west slopes of avalanche, we observed the top layer of snow (approx 2-4") that was sliding on what appeared to be a graupel layer. This layer proved to sluff easily on our descent. Another party behind us told us at the bottom that they triggered a slab down to the most recent crust at the top of the ridge, although we did not observe it.
Boot pen was quite deep in areas (1-2ft), as it was easy to push through the light new snow and the slushy snow underneath.